The Opera Tattler: Ars Minerva’s Astianatte

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Jasmine-johnson-andromaca-2022* Notes * 
Ars Minerva was again with a seventh fashionable world premiere final weekend, this time Leonardo Vinci‘s 1725 Astianatte at ODC Theater in San Francisco. The Sunday matinée featured numerous stunning singing from some acquainted voices. The plot considerations the aftermath of the Trojan Battle, particularly specializing in Astyanax (Astianatte in Italian), son of Hector and crown prince of Troy. Curiously although the proceedings should do along with his life and desired dying by the Greeks, this character does not sing a word, is is portrayed by a silent little one.

The essential define is that Pyrrhus, King of Epirus and son of Achilles is in love along with his captive, Hector’s widow Andromache. He’s presupposed to marry the princess of Sparta, Hermione. Orestes, Prince of Mycenae and son of Agamemnon, involves the court docket to demand Astyanax ‘s dying. Orestes, after all, is in love with Hermione, who needs to marry Pyrrhus for her honor, fairly than out of true afffection. Antics ensue, however everybody will get sorted out in the long run and nobody dies.

One other tidbit about this piece is that the function of Andromache (Andromaca) was created by Vittoria Tesi, a biracial Florentine opera singer from the 18th century. On this manufacturing the function is sung by contralto Jasmine Johnson (pictured), whose unbelievable vary is nothing wanting spectacular. Her voice is wealthy and her arias had been all sturdy. Her capacity to change from searing anger at her captor and poignant love for her son was gorgeous. The distinction of Johnson’s deep tones contrasted effectively with mezzo-soprano Deborah Martinez Rosengaus as Pirro. The latter has a pleasant heft to her sound but additionally a stunning brightness. Their duet initially of Act III was a spotlight of the afternoon, they complemented one another.

Likewise, mezzo-soprano Nikola Printz was highly effective as Oreste, they’ve such nice flexibility within the characters they’ll convincingly painting and such good management. Of the three sopranos on this piece, the biggest function is for Aura Veruni as Ermione. Veruni has an exquisite effortlessness to her sound, which may be very clear. She was ferocious right here, razor-sharp in her singing.

Ars Minerva’s Govt Inventive Director Céline Ricci’s manufacturing began off with every soloist getting into unshod and in underwear, greeting Maestro Matthew Dirst and one another. The primary scenes contain getting dressed, and this works effectively sufficient. Marina Polakoff’s costumes have a steampunk aptitude, numerous corsetry, vests, and platform sneakers. The 2 masculine presenting leads had numerous spikes, Pirro’s jacket jogged my memory of a goth Bowser from Tremendous Mario. Ermione’s outfit regarded very swirly and insectile, whereas Andromaca’s recalled palm fronds.

The orchestra, headed by harpsichordist Matthew Dirst, was on the massive facet for this ensemble, a complete fourteen musicians. They performed effectively, and it was good to listen to trumpets with all of the strings, even when the brass was not all the time completely in tune.

* Tattling * 
I received to my seat, Row D Seat 20, a couple of minutes earlier than curtain and was stunned to see a video digital camera there. The particular person operating the digital camera was stunned to see me there, and as I defined that I had bought this particular ticket, he remembered that he was presupposed to have moved the digital camera for this efficiency. He had me sit in Row C Seat 20, and was very apologetic and thoughtful. I used to be within the seat of a visitor of the Govt Director, however this particular person was form sufficient to easily sit subsequent to me.

As with all ODC performances for the previous few years, we heard a land acknowledgement, that the theater is on the unceded land of the Ramaytush Ohlone. I used to be glad to notice that ODC is donating a small portion of every ticket bought to the Affiliation of Ramaytush Ohlone and inspiring us to study and donate to this group.

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